No Hugs Thanks

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Health and Fitness  |  House: Footsteps, yarns and little fibs
There are some things that people don't want to know about.

Submitted: December 11, 2016

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Submitted: December 11, 2016



It isn’t that he’s antisocial, but when someone comes forward to give Henry a hug, more often than not, he takes two steps back. It’s a matter of trust really, and there are not too many he will trust. The same with going out. He tries to avoid it if he can, but there are times it is unavoidable and others when his missus really insists he go!

The reason he doesn’t trust has nothing to do with personalities or what the people may, or may not be, it’s all to do with chemicals. Henry has pulled rotting lambs out of ewes, he has cleaned out septic tanks, he has cleared dead cats from under hospital wards but none of those things made him sick. But some chemicals make him sick!

When chemicals are mentioned, the connotations are toxins as in herbicides and insecticides and there are plenty of folk who object to their use. Not Henry, he has used them, and while acknowledging their toxicity, by wearing the appropriate protective gear and keeping them out of the food chain, he sees them merely as a tool. The other chemicals most remember are found in the science lab at school where the smell of sulphur dioxide reminds everyone of hard-boiled-egg-farts.

The first sign of Henry-type-toxic chemicals is a numbness on his tongue, he doesn’t have to smell it but will notice the tingling. Depending on the chemical, he will start to cough, maybe a tickly little cough or other times a harsh, deep cough. Chest pains come. Headaches. Watery eyes and nose too. Then comes the annoyance and in the worst cases, impaired thinking. So what are these chemicals?

To explain let’s make the example of Lucy, sorry Lucy. Now there is nothing wrong with Lucy, she’s a fine and respectable thirty-year-old woman and fictional. Her morning routine is as follows: She climbs into the shower and shampoos her hair, nice smelly shampoo. Her long hair knots easily so she uses a conditioner, a nice smelly conditioner. Now for her body, raspberry-coloured shower gel. Ah, with a nice lather. After drying, there is the lotion, well air conditioners do dry the skin so. (Or is it the shower gel?) Body odour is so embarrassing, so don’t forget the deodorant, Lucy. Once dressed, there is the face makeup, lippy, coloured stuff and the final touch, just a puff or two of perfume makes Lucy feel like a woman!

Every product that Lucy has applied contains fragrance. There are no laws or regulations about fragrance, they are corporate secrets, and not disclosed because another company might copy their recipe. Fragrance is manufactured from up to four thousand different chemicals, the majority of which can be classified as carcinogenic or the direct cause of human health problems. They are all synthetic despite the word,’ natural’. So when Lucy walks down the street, as well as smelling like a chemist shop she is exuding harmful toxins! She has also allowed many toxins to go down the plughole and enter the water cycle. Not to mention what it is doing to he body!

It is not just Henry who is affected by Lucy’s toxins, some folk experience much worse symptoms including asthma and even anaphylactic shock. If a smoker blows smoke in your face these days, most people would be outraged, but someone wearing a chemist shop full of toxins, thinks they are attractive and becomes offended if someone else has the courage to mention the smell makes them sick! There are occasions when Henry gets caught out and someone does manage to hug him! Makeup or traces of fragrance contaminates his clothing, making him suffer until he can change, so then his clothes have to be cleaned. There begins another problem; the chemicals used in dry cleaning are volatile, highly toxic and although the fumes don’t affect Henry too much, for some dry cleaned clothes are a poisoned chalice.

But back to Lucy, Typhoid-Mary-Lucy. Not only is her skin covered in fragrance exuding toxins, but also fragrance from her laundry detergents and more especially, fabric softeners, which leave their toxins on the fabrics she is wearing, so she leaves a trail of it in the air behind her! The majority of those chemicals too are flushed down the plughole and into the water cycle! Henry would rather wear sweaty, smelly clothes than suffer the effects of most detergents!

He doesn’t muck around at home, his personal space, if a product comes into the house that has an adverse effect on him, he disposes of it without ceremony. Air fresheners, especially automatic misters that fill the lungs with chemical droplets, or those sticks in a jar of oil! When Henry stays in a motel or hotel, the oil and sticks are the first to get the biff! He looks into vehicles before he accepts a lift because there are these little fresheners that mainly smokers or pet owners use. The ride is not worth the headache, he would rather walk or catch a bus – taxis have those stinky things too!

Henry has no reason to trust corporates or advertisers. On reflection, perhaps they are partners in crime. He has the theory that all this ‘need to hide perceived odours’ is just a big con. Perfumed toilet paper that ends up down the dunny - bah! There’s something stupid about that! Indoctrinate kids that you have to apply chemicals to suppress what are after all natural smells and you have adults that become desensitised, so even more powerful chemicals have to be produced so they can smell them. Smokers are warned that secondhand smoke is dangerous especially to children, yet parents smother their babies with fancy, toxic fragrances – to make them smell like babies.

Poor Lucy has had a hard time here, so it is fair to balance the equation. Men emit similar but different toxins, some of them even worse than Lucy’s! Henry’s request is: Surely people are entitled to their own fragrance-free space, so don’t invade it! He also has some advice: Your nation’s heath bill will be much reduced if asthma and allergy inducing chemicals are excluded from all product lines! Think about it. Think also about what role those chemicals have in effecting depression, anger and violence!

The irony: chemicals make you sick, and other chemicals treat the symptoms. Chemists and corporates eh?



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